This Article discusses two related problems regarding the scope of the collateral estoppel doctrine applied by the California courts. Both problems concern the determination of whether issues were “actually litigated and determined” by a prior judgment. Both implicate the tension between the desire to achieve judicial economy on the one hand, and the right of a party to a fair opportunity for a full adversary hearing on an issue on the other. The next section of Part I examines the policies underlying the preclusion doctrines, and explains how clear issue preclusion rules applied in an underinclusive manner further these policies. Part I then briefly describes California’s current claim preclusion doctrine as background to the collateral estoppel problems discussed in Part II.
Walter W. Heiser,
California’s Confusing Collateral Estoppel (Issue Preclusion) Doctrine,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol35/iss2/4